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Pressure drop and flow distribution in multiple parallel-channel configurations used in proton-exchange membrane fuel cell stacks
Published in
Volume: 157
Issue: 1
Pages: 358 - 367
Single U- and Z-type parallel-channel configurations for gas distributor plates in planar fuel cells reduce the pressure drop but give rise to the problem of severe flow maldistribution wherein some of the channels may be starved of the reactants. In this paper, previous analytical solutions obtained for single U- and Z-type flow configurations are extended to multiple U- and multiple Z-type flow configurations of interest to fuel cell applications. Algorithms to calculate flow distribution and pressure drop in multiple U- and Z-type flow configurations are developed. The results are validated by comparison with those obtained from three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. It is found that there is a significant improvement in the flow distribution in some configurations without paying for extra pressure drop. The possibility of unmatched distribution on the cathode and the anodes sides is also highlighted. Careful design of the flow configuration is therefore necessary for optimum performance. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Open AccessNo
Concepts (10)
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    Computational fluid dynamics
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    Ion exchange membranes
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    Laminar flow
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    Pressure drop
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    Flow distribution
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    Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell
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    Fuel cells